Suweida has been witnessing a state of unrest since Sunday morning when a peaceful protest against difficult economic conditions was repressed with fire.
Death Toll Rises
The pro-opposition Syria TV says that two people were killed in the protests and four others were injured, with shooting continuing near the governorate building and the police headquarters building in the center of Sweida city, with regime elements stationed on the roofs of buildings.
The Ministry of Interior in the Syrian regime’s government described the protesters in the city of Suweida as “outlaws,” accusing them of indiscriminately shooting and storming the Suweida governorate building by force. Meanwhile, local media reported on regime forces shooting at protesters and killing and wounding several of them.
The regime’s Interior Ministry claimed in a statement published on Facebook that “a group of outlaws, some of them carrying personal weapons, blocked the road with burning tires next to the gallows roundabout in Sweida province at 11:30 a.m.”
Suweida Residents Want Project Similar to SDF?
The pro-government Athr Press has reported that experts indicate that some groups in the governorate are pursuing a project similar to the Autonomous Administration’s project in eastern Syria.
In its statement, the Autonomous Administration criticized the policies of the Syrian state, which respond to the difficult socio-economic conditions in the country. It called on the Syrian authorities to find solutions to these problems, warning that it should otherwise expect “demonstrations” similar to what happened in Suweida.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition reported that the President of the SOC, Salem al-Meslet, stressed that the people’s chants in Suweida province demanding the overthrow of the regime represent a message from every Syrian citizen to the world that the Assad regime is illegitimate and does not represent the Syrian people whatsoever.
In comments he published on Twitter, Meslet called on the international community to stop ignoring Syria, seek to achieve the demands of the Syrian people, and hold the Assad regime accountable for its crimes.
Residents Kick Out Russian Military Delegation
The opposition Shaam Network reported that a group of residents in the town of Thaala, located in the western countryside of Suweida, have driven out a Russian military delegation. The expulsion followed the deployment of Russia’s soldiers in the town on Tuesday, where they maintained a provocative presence. The governorate had previously witnessed similar incidents in the town of Mazra’a, the city of Shahba and the village of Al-Jeneina, in which local residents have also driven out Russian patrols.
The Suweida 24 website reported that two military vehicles of the Russian forces entered the town of Thaala in rural Suweida. The vehicles had travelled from Daraa and were accompanied by a Syrian military intelligence patrol. The delegation stopped at the Thaala municipality building, where Russian soldiers disembarked and deployed near the building with their weapons.
Intelligence Threatens Leader, Vows to Burn Suweida
The opposition Baladi News has reported that the regime’s intelligence services have threatened Laith al-Balous, commander of the Men of Dignity forces, that it will burn Suweida in response to the forces’ demonstrations against the regime.
“Laith Balous received a direct and sectarian threat, by the head of the Air Force Intelligence Department in Syria, Major General Ghassan Ismail, as a result of the governorate’s demonstrations against the regime,” reported the Suwayda ANS network.
According to the network, Ismail threatened to burn Suweida in retaliation against young men who demonstrated against the regime. He threatened Balous directly because he had appeared in photos standing next to the demonstrators.
Pedersen Calls for Political Solution
UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Geir Pedersen, stressed that his visit to Damascus is a continuation of the deep and ongoing dialogue with the Syrian government.
In a special statement to Al-Watan after his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Dr. Faisal al-Mekdad, he said: I submitted a report to the UN Security Council last Tuesday regarding the reality on the Syrian ground and made a presentation on the possibilities of military escalation in northern Syria. We asked all parties to calm down, reduce escalation and restore calm to Syria. I think that this is an important message as what Syria really needs is not escalation, but peace and a political process.